August 14, 2010 at 3:25 AM
What if, for a day, you could play another instrument? And just to make the fantasy complete: you could play it really, really well. What would you play?
Okay, probably I would play the clarinet, because I think they have some seriously fun and juicy orchestra solos. For example, in that one scene in the Nutcracker, just before the snow starts falling. And then there's the beginning of the second movement of Shostakovich's first symphony. Actually, you could make an argument for just about any instrument of the orchestra being a wild joy ride based on this 2006 recording of Shostakovich 1 II by the London Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFGoOgnW5IA. Man!To vote, just answer in the comment section. We'll have our voting system up in a few weeks for doing polls in the future.
Piano, Stravinsky, Petrushka.
Though violin keeps me busy enough...
Cymbals. First, I don't think I'd fail this technique too much; second, I always wanted to try any drum instrument, especially cymbals. I'd play any of Mahler Symphony...
I have played concerts in our local symphony as a violinist, a clarinetist and a violist, and in a show pit as a reed player with a sax, clar. and flute at hand. Each instrument brings its own challenges. I was first a clarinetist, playing for several seasons back when my kids were small. In the woodwind world, it's not uncommon to count 87 measures rest, then have to enter with a crucial and difficult solo. It's a very exposed and alternately terrifying and boring role.
As a string player, there have been concerts I've played where I can barely feel my arms by the end... 12 measure rests are a long break. But there is safety in numbers....
Violin is often more fun.
I would like to change to the piccolo it is easier than carrying the harp around, which is very tiring on the arms.
Trombone - a comedy instrument if ever there was one.
Ohhh I wish I could play the oboe!
I voted for timpani in honour of Leigh O'Hara, who taught a piano master class and conducted the orchestra at last year's Dartington International Summer School of Music. The last night of the week, during a performance of Bach's Christmas Oratorio (in the middle of summer we had Christmas pudding to eat) he played the timpani. It was a joy to watch him play.
Alto Flute in Daphnis; Bass Clarinet in Sacre; Piccolo in Rossini overtures; Tuba in Lt Kigi; Oboe d'Amore in Bach Passions.
The Strauss French Horn solos especially the one in Four Last Songs,
Viola, and I've already played it in an orchestra too.
Another vote for clarinet. I find the Mozart and Weber concerti especially catchy. Plenty of heart and soul here -- not to mention a few good opportunities to really ham it up.
On the melancholy side, I'm thinking of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, first movement, mm. 325-335, right near the close. For me, this evokes images of a flat, peaceful landscape at sunset -- a definite "taps" atmosphere.
Speaking of melancholy -- there are some great clarinet solos in 19th century opera and music drama. I'm thinking especially of the intro to the final scene of Gounod's Faust; Act III opening of Verdi's Forza; Act I opening of Donizetti's Lucia; and Wagner's Ring saga -- notably during Act I of Die Walküre (The Valkyrie), Act II of Siegfried, and Prologue and Act I of Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods).
Undoubtedly my love of animals influences this last point. Woodwinds, for me, suggest bird life and animal life. Flutes remind me of birds. Oboes remind me of kittens. Bassoons remind me of cows.
I've always been a big fan of the bassoon!
Bass Drum!!! Just so I could play the Dies Irae from the Verdi Requiem.
The trumpet.... cheap to buy, no problems with projection, volume, etc... and I would certainly play some jazz too!!!
Cello!!!!! (If I had the fingers though... I already struggle to press violin size strings...) Yet another hard contract...
Perhaps they would direct me to the triangle if it was them that chose... Who cares about finger or cold hands problems there! I would probably be the "gadjet woman" with all the things you hit on once or twice during a peice. Though I would get bored... and would have to wait so long...
Double Bass (and I AM learning it by the way ;) it's my second instrument)
Trumpet, for sure! I love good brass.
Cello! There's nothing better than a whole cello section in finger position on the A string. So lush
Having played oboe and English horn seriously in my otherwise misspent youth, the English horn still calls me like nothing else. I'm convinced, though, that the music world's dirty little secret is that everybody truly wants to play the cello.
Yes, the cello is tantalizing indeed... my 10 years old son is learning the cello and the sound is marvelous... I loved making celli too!
A few years ago, when my right arm was injured and I could not play the violin, the percussionist in my community symphony orchestra tried to train me on triangle. It was terrible. You're supposed to count 57 measures of rest and then play a few "tings." I missed every cue. I'm glad I play violin.
poor you... Glad you are back to the violin ; )
Well, if it had to be an orchestral instrument, I'd probably choose the timpani, because, as an ex-dancer, I'm fascinated by rhythm.
However, if I could choose ANY instrument, it would be the human voice (which, I suppose, by Beethovian and Mahlerian standards, is an orchestral instrument), because I think it is the sublime instrument which all others aspire to. And besides, the overtones of the violin are closer to those of the human voice than any other instrument. :)
Hi- Cello. It's not as close to the violin as the viola physically, but there's a great deal more wonderful music for it. On the other hand, playing any instrument in an orchestra for an extended period, even as concertmaster, is a very good recipe for killing one's love of music. Charles Johnston
Oboe. Along with the violin, the most gorgeous orchestral solo instrument in my book.
I would say oboe (love the Mozart concerto as well as all the great orchestral soli). Clarinet or French Horn would also be serious contenders for me.
As for the orchestra. I know many musicians who played in orchestras for many years and still love music more than normal people could imagine. In their retirement they perform and teach so much that they barely have time to sleep and still listen to recordings or attend concerts in much of their "free" time.
I am a cellist but am interested in the violin. My alternative instrument would be the violin!
I play and teach the violin but love the sound of the cello and would love to play it as well
I would love playing the bandoneon (and composing!) like Astor Piazzolla...
The cello !!!
Imagine playing "The Swan" from Camille Saint-Sans for cello, or Dvorak cello concerto, or the cello solo in the slow movement from Brahms Concerto No. 2 for piano and orchestra ! Or, even more gratifying, Bach's six suites for cello. That would be just great !
Clarinet or Timpani! But violin is still the most fun :)
I think you are right, Lisa. If I could play another instrument it would be the cello. Maybe someday, I will play the cello. Who knows....
Oboe/English horn I believe
english horn! I already play oboe, I've just never had a chance to touch an english horn.
Thats not surprising, you are from the USA.
cello or oboe ^^
Maybe a cello.. I've wanted to play a cello after I learn on the violin..
Bassoon- I love Mozart's Bassoon Concerto in B flat major (K. 191)!
Maybe I should play the triangle.
Sometimes the viola repertoire I end up doing is so far over my head I get mad and frustrated with myself. Then, after I finally nail it I think, well that wasn't so bad...but going through it all...ugh. Luckily I have a great instructor that can calm me down when I start feeling worthless.
Cello or harp. I love the sound of both and actually took 2 years of harp instruction in college.
I'm going to be a complete oddball and say "Tuba", because I reckon I'd laugh myself silly just at the thought of me playing one. I'm rather petite, and the tuba is such a, well, BIG instrument. LOL!
I do love the timpani though and enjoyed playing them in my high school chamber orchestra.
oboe or cello. The oboe always gets such sexy-sounding solos. And the cello has such a rich sound.
does conductor count?
Not in the orchestra, but possibly electric bass. Nagahapin, though -- when I messed around with acoustic guitar, my fingertips started bleeding. No way am I going to pluck what amounts to bass piano wires with my fingers! They sound wonderful, though ...
i would play the cello as well, just to be able to play Bach`s Cello Suites No. 1 Prelude.......
But im blind to any other instrument but the violin, its like my second child now.....
This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.